Inspired By The Work of Talented Crocheters!


Tracey’s Corkscrew Scarf

ScannedImageOne of the things that always have me in awe is the beautiful work so many crocheters create. I am fortunate enough to have created designs that after people work them they want to share them with me, and they have allowed me to share them with you!

Tracie is one of my crochet students. She has picked up the skill really quickly and the first project she has completed is the Corkscrew Scarf. I have this pattern worked up and designed specifically to teach in my workshops so it is not available on-line, but she did a fantastic job!


Joyce’s Drop Stitch Short Scarf

Joyce has done an amazing job working up the second pattern/technique that I have ever had published! The Drop-Stitch Short Scarf that was featured in the Summer 2012 issue of Crochet! Magazine (as well as the April 2015 Special Issue of Crochet! Magazine Quick & Easy Accessories) and the technique utilized is the same as the one in the Summer Rays Drop Stitch Wrap, and I have some on-line tutorials for it (Drop Stitch Mock Hair Pin Lace). She didn’t quite feel comfortable with the turning edges, but I think it looks fabulous!


Carol’s Bruges Multi Shawl


Carol’s Bruges Multi Shawl

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Myself & Suzanne modeling the Bruges Multi Shawl

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Myself & Suzanne modeling the Bruges Multi Shawl

Carol and Suzanne have both completed the Bruges Multi Shawl from the Summer 2015 issue of Crochet! Magazine. They both did a fabulous job! I was fortunate enough to get to model the original with Suzanne at the Crochet Guild of America annual conference in San Diego this last July. They both have worked it up in such wonderful colors and it brings a completely different feel to the designs. I love them.

As you can see there are so many different variations to how patterns can get worked, I am truly inspired by the photos that they have allowed me to share with you. They are so talented, and seeing their creation makes me smile every time I open my email.

Another Crochet Journey, New Projects, New Inspirations

ScannedImageOne of the things that I really enjoy about crochet is that it has so many possibilities. When I began crocheting I created scarves and Barbie dresses, then I worked afghans….many, many afghans. I really didn’t even begin to make hats for several years as I was a little intimidated with working in the round and the working it straight, I was fine with the flat circle, but the contours of a hat use to intimidate me. I think I may have made my first sweater before my first hat, not much before, but before. When I realized that I was just creating fabric garments became my new go to, (and I include shawls in my garment category, as it took me a long time to place a shawl in my personal wardrobe).


BBD (Baby Brown Dog)

Looking back on my time stitching I can see certain trends, however I never really got into the trend of doilies or toy making. However, I find myself taking inspiration from the work of classic thread doilies and applying it to some of my current designs and at the prompting for some of my crochet students I have been investigating some Amigurumi.

In playing with the techniques used to create toys, I have made up a little puppy. BBD (Baby Brown Dog as it is affectionately referred to in my home), is created with 2 skeins of Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK yarn, so it is really quite soft and cuddly. This stitches used are simply single crochet, with the only challenge being the Magic Loop beginning (that can be substituted if desired with alternative circle beginnings). Simple increases and decrease are worked for the overall shaping. The paws have a little special touch of having nickels added to give a little weight to the legs so that they always want to hang downward (so it can be recognized as a 20¢ puppy).

I may not be someone that creates things like this often, but I will admit, this little dog has gotten to me, and even I enjoy cuddling with it. Sometimes working on things outside your everyday comfort zone can inspire new ideas, BBD already has me things…I wonder where this journey might take me.

If you would like to take a journey with BBD you can find it on Ravelry and Craftsy for only $5.50 US.


Inspiration is a Time Not a Thing

ScannedImageInspiration, it does come from where you think and often comes to you when you least expect it. I had an acquaintance tell me that I was an inspiration the other day. I accepted it as a compliment, but I have to admit it really got me thinking.  What makes an inspiration? Where does inspiration come from? Do I take it for granted at times?

The context of the compliment I received was in discussing what I do for a living, I am a freelance crochet designer. But I haven’t always been. Much of my life has been in public service; assisting caregivers and older adults in locating resources to help stay at home and meet their wishes for aging gracefully. (If you are needing assistance please contact your local Area Agency on Aging office, they cover the entire US, and are amazing almost hidden gems) But things changed at my local government office and circumstances changed in my life, there was no longer a match that was positive for both of us, so the little design hobby that I began a year earlier was now my full time passion.

When explaining this story, probably with a little more gusto and some extra details that don’t really add to the basic premise, I had inspired this acquaintance. When I asked how, they told me because I had the courage to step out of what I had already known and believed in myself. That is a powerful statement.

I never really thought of my life in that manner before, believing in myself and taking a risk, it was just the option available to me at the time. But I guess in a sense they are right. In the last 2 years that I have been doing this work, it has changed how I look at things, but that is a discussion for another day.

Usually when I think of inspiration it is something “out there” somewhere in the universe, but really we are all inspirations to each other. The simple decisions, which each of us makes, reflect to others and encourage them to find more in themselves.  Our growth is unseen to us, but noticed by others, making a difference that we cannot even recognize.  It is kind of like kids growing over summer, they haven’t realized that they grew an extra two inches in three months, the parents may not have directly noticed it either, but when they put the school close back on of the first day, or grandma comes to visit, you find the pants that are well above the ankles and that grandma is not bending down to give hugs; growth has happened.MP900070786

So I guess inspiration is that point in time when you see or hear something that you really need to, in order to help point you in a new direction, and open up possibilities in your mind of where you want life to take you. Inspiration isn’t a thing, it’s a time. Even artistically this can apply, one day a sunset can inspire a new stitch pattern or color way for a design, other days it is just a sunset.

So Now I’m Making Fabric- and Losing Labels

Making fabric sounds like a high tech industrial trade, big machines and fine threads, but really I do it daily. Crochet is simply creating fabric. When I finally made this realization it opened up a world of possibilities. I’ll admit it; I crocheted for nearly 25 years (maybe even 30) before I tackled anything resembling a sweater or garment, it was just too intimidating.

My first afghan

My first afghan

I made afghans galore, many different color combinations, styles and stitch patterns, but to make a sweater or cardigan that just seemed like too much. I had seen knitters following grids and using stitch markers so I assumed that crocheting a sweater would be much the same. But I took the plunge as a challenge to myself to use a gift certificate at a local yarn store, and make something nice for myself.

So I found a cardigan sweater that had a stitch pattern that looked enjoyable, and then I found some really nice yarn. I carefully read through the pattern and then jumped it, it was at this time I heard somewhere that I was making fabric, and it opened my mind to look at this pattern differently. If I was thinking I was making a sweater I felt intimidated, but when I looked at it was making fabric that I was shaping to fit a sewing pattern, it removed the point of intimidation. I could make crochet in any shape. So I concentrated on making these shapes and then put them together.

My first garment.

My first garment.

My first garment made. Crossing this threshold inadvertently caused me to begin designing (even though I didn’t realize it at the time), as I took sewing patterns and crocheted fabric to fit the pieces in stitches that I like and put them together. I have never looked back.  This has taught me that removing the label I place on things and giving them a different name has helped me to look at it in a different light and add something new to my life, this includes my role as a mom, a wife, a friend. I never realized that I had definitions in my words that dictated how and what I did, but changing the view as increased life’s possibilities.

Who would guess that crochet could have taught me that.